Archive | 8:29 am

You know you’ve gone local when…

31 Jul

Over the last month or so as I’ve re-acclimated to China after a lot of traveling the months prior, I’ve started thinking about how much I have changed since I came here nearly five years ago.  It’s getting harder to remember my five years ago self but every once in a while I do something and I think – “Wow, that is a change in my behavior.”

I started jotting down thoughts in random places and slowly realized that I have enough for a list.  If there are any other China expats who can chime in, I’d love to hear when you realized that you’ve “gone local.”

So, I knew that I’d gone local when…

1) I could use a squat toilet in heels

2) I asked for warm water to drink at a restaurant

3) After a long day traveling when I looked at the room service menu I ordered a bowl of beef noodles

4) I told someone off in the grocery store (See this story for details)

5) I checked “going home” on my entry paperwork at the airport instead of “employment” for the reason I was entering the country – this actually caused some confusion with the customs officer who looked at me and asked, “Are you really going home?”

6) I stopped expecting any restaurants to have napkins or bathrooms to have toilet paper

7) I can give my Chinese friends directions to my favorite restaurants

8) My Notre Dame friends invited me to the Chinese (Mandarin speaking) alumni meeting

Eight is a good (lucky) number in Chinese, so I’ll stop my list there which may be another signal that I’ve gone local.

Any more that you can think of?


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